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USWNT facing England on Friday at sold-out Wembley Stadium

The eyes of the soccer world will be on Wembley Stadium on Friday, Oct. 7 for the much-anticipated matchup between the U.S. Women’s National Team and the England Lionesses.

A crowd of over 80,000 fans will be on hand to watch the showdown between the reigning World Cup winners and recently crowned European Champions, which will be broadcast stateside at 3 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. local on FOX.

Get ready for the game at Wembley with Five Things to Know about The Lionesses.

LIONESSES TAKE SUMMER BY STORM

England won the 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO in historic fashion at Wembley Stadium on July 31, defeating Germany, 2-1, in overtime in front of a record-setting crowd of 87,192 fans. The victory marked the Lionesses’ first ever trophy at a major tournament and capped off a highly entertaining and competitive tournament, which saw 31 matches played in eight host cities across England.

The Lionesses opened group play with a 1-0 victory over Austria on July 6, followed by an emphatic 8-0 victory over Norway on July 11 featuring a hat trick from forward Beth Mead and a 5-0 win over Northern Ireland on July 15 to finish atop Group A.

In the knockout stage, England defeated Spain in a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory in the quarterfinal round. Spain took the lead in the 54th minute but an 84th-minute equalizer from midfielder Ella Toone sent the match to overtime, where midfielder Georgia Stanway bagged the game winner in the 96th minute off a brilliant strike.

A commanding 4-0 victory over Sweden in the semifinal sent England through to its third European final, setting up a July 31 showdown at Wembley against eight-time EURO winners Germany. The match lived up to the billing and then some, with a record-setting crowd of 87,192 on hand to watch the Lionesses win 2-1 in overtime, capturing their first ever European title and the first major tournament victory for any England senior National Team since the 1966 Men’s World Cup. After a scoreless opening half, England struck first with a goal from Toone in the 62nd minute but a 79th minute equalizer from Germany’s Lina Magull sent the match to overtime. England’s Chloe Kelly netted the game-winning goal in the 110th minute, stabbing home a bouncing ball in the penalty area following a corner kick to lift England to victory.

With the win, England head coach Sarina Wiegman, who began her tenure as England head coach in September of 2021, became the first manager to win the EURO with two different countries, having coached her native Netherlands to victory in 2017.

INSIDE THE ROSTER

Sixteen of the 23 England players named to this roster for the match against the USA were on the Euro-winning roster this summer. Forward Beth Mead, who won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO, is the top scorer on this current roster with 29 goals in 47 caps. Defender Lucy Bronze, who played one year collegiately in the United States at North Carolina and was named The Best FIFA Women’s Player of the year in 2020, is the most experienced player on this England roster and enters the match against the USA on 98 caps.

Nineteen players on Wiegman’s roster for the match against the USA play their club soccer domestically in the FA Women’s Super League, highlighted by seven players from Manchester City. Four players from reigning WSL champions Chelsea are on this squad along with four players from Manchester United. Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton are also represented on the squad. Four players are competing outside of England with Bronze and EURO Final MVP Kiera Walsh in their first season for Spanish power Barcelona. Georgia Stanway signed with Bayern Munich in Germany this summer while forward Ebony Salmon is the lone player on this roster currently playing in the USA, scoring nine goals this season for the Houston Dash in NWSL.

Center back and team captain Leah Williamson, forward Alessia Russo and first-time call-up Lucy Parker were all originally named to the roster before having to withdraw due to injury. They were replaced by defender Lotte Wubben-Moy, who also played college soccer at UNC, and forward Nikita Parris.

ENGLAND WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS (3): Mary Earps (Manchester United), Sandy MacIver (Manchester City), Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

DEFENDERS (8): Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona, ESP), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Lotte Wunben-Moy (Arsenal)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jessica Park (Everton), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich, GER), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Barcelona, ESP), Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

FORWARDS (6): Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Manchester United), Ebony Salmon (Houston Dash, USA)

SERIES HISTORY: USA VS. ENGLAND

The USA and England are set to meet for the 19th time with the USWNT leading the overall series 12-4-2. The series between the squads has been highly competitive, with seven of the last eight meetings between the teams decided by one goal or fewer, with the USA holding a 5-2-1 advantage over that stretch.

The most recent meeting between the teams came during the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, a 2-0 victory for the USA at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium behind goals from Christen Press and Carli Lloyd. Six of the 18 matchups overall between the teams – and five of the most six most recent meetings – have come at the SheBelieves Cup.

The USA and England met in a match for the ages in the semifinal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Lyon, France. The USA took the lead in the 10th minute on a header goal from Press, but England came up with the equalizer in the 19th minute off a strike from recently retired forward Ellen White. Alex Morgan, playing on her 30th birthday, scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 31st minute with a header off a perfectly timed cross from Lindsey Horan. With the USA leading 2-1, England was awarded a penalty in the 84th minute following a VAR review, but Alyssa Naeher proved up to the task, saving the attempt by Lionesses’ captain Steph Houghton to seal the victory and send the USWNT through to the final.

Naeher is one of five players on this current USA roster who saw time in the 2019 semifinal against England, joined by Horan, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle and Becky Sauerbrunn. Megan Rapinoe did not dress for the match while nursing a minor injury but returned to the field for the World Cup Final days later.

Friday’s match at Wembley Stadium will be just the third time the teams have played in England and the teams split the previous two matchups across the pond. In 2011, England defeated the USA 2-1 victory at Leyton Orient in London and in 2015 the USA won 1-0 at MK Dons in Milton Keynes.

England will be the seventh different European opponent the USA has faced since the start of 2021, having played Sweden twice during that span and the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Czech Republic and Iceland once each.

SELLOUT AT WEMBLEY

The 87,192 fans on hand on July 31 for the EURO final between the Lionesses and Germany set a record as the highest-attended European Championship, for men or women, in the history of the competitions. The crowd on hand that day also set a record for the most spectators to watch a women’s game in England, surpassing the previous crowd of 80,203 which attended the USWNT’s gold medal match at Wembley at the 2012 Olympics, which saw the USA defeat Japan 2-1 to win its fourth gold medal. It also marked the second-largest crowd in history to watch a women’s international match, behind only the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, which drew 90,185.

The USA and England are headed for yet another day of historic attendances with tickets for the match, as many as 80,000 of them, selling out in less than a day – the quickest sellout on record for a match at Wembley. The crowd on hand for Friday’s meeting between the World Cup and European Champions is primed to be the second-highest attended USWNT ever after the 1999 World Cup Final and the largest ever to watch the USA in a friendly, with the current attendance record for a friendly match for the USWNT belonging to the 49,504 fans who watched the USA play Portugal at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on August 29, 2019, as part of the 2019 Women’s World Cup Victory Tour.

The sellout at Wembley continues a trend of remarkable growth in women’s soccer attendance numbers, both on the international and club level. In April of 2022, 91,648 fans watched Barcelona take on Wolfsburg at Camp Nou in the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal, setting a record for the highest official attendance ever at a women’s soccer match. Records have been set as of late in the NWSL and Women’s Super League as well. On September 18, a record 32,000 fans watched San Diego Wave FC’s 1-0 victory over Angel City FC at newly opened Snapdragon Stadium, shattering the previous NWSL attendance record of 25,218 and on September 24, a Women’s Super League attendance record was set with 47,367 in attendance at Emirates Stadium to watch the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

QUALIFYING RECAP

England officially punched its ticket to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on September 3, defeating Austria on the road 2-0 to clinch first place in Group D of UEFA Qualifying. The 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will be the fifth consecutive and sixth World Cup overall for the Lionesses, having previously appeared in the tournament in 1995, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.

England has made it out of the group stage in each of its previous six trips to the World Cup and its best ever result was a bronze medal finish at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, where the Lionesses defeated Germany 1-0 in overtime in the Third-Place Match.

England and the USA have played twice in the World Cup, facing off in the iconic 2019 Semifinal in France and a quarterfinal match at the 2007 World Cup in China, which resulted in a 3-0 victory for the USA.

Following Friday’s match at Wembley, England will continue its World Cup preparations with an October 11 matchup against the Czech Republic at Brighton and Hove Albion. The Lionesses also have friendlies scheduled vs. Japan and Norway in Spain during the November FIFA window and will play in another historic game next year when it takes on Brazil next February in what will be the first edition of the UEFA–CONMEBOL Women’s Finalissima, an intercontinental women’s football match between the winners of the previous European and South American championships.

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